After a successful sweep of Dartmouth at home on April 13, the heavyweight crew maintained its winning momentum in Philadelphia on Saturday, besting Columbia and Penn in the varsity eight and Penn in the varsity four. This marks the fourth straight year that the Bulldogs have won the Blackwell Cup — the prize for the annual Yale-Columbia-Penn matchup.
“It was a really strong race at all levels,” team captain Jon Morgan ’13 said. “The varsity boat had a particularly strong second 1,000 meters.”
Yale’s varsity eight clocked in with a time of 5:23.4 over the 2000-meter course, winning over Columbia by 6.2 seconds and Penn by 7.7 seconds. The varsity four beat Penn by a whopping 11.4 seconds with a time of 6:06.2, and Columbia did not enter a boat in that category. While the varsity eight race determines the winner of the Blackwell Cup, Yale fell to Columbia in the second varsity eight by one second and to Penn in the third varsity eight/freshman eight by 0.7 seconds. The times for Yale’s boats in these races were 5:30.4 and 5:34.4, respectively.
Head coach Stephen Gladstone said that the third varsity squad had a steering issue during the race, but still managed to keep Penn’s margin of victory very small.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs retained the Olympic Axe as they won four of four races against Dartmouth at the Gilder Boathouse. On March 29, though, Yale fell to Brown at Providence in the varsity race.
“The start of [Saturday’s varsity] race was pretty chaotic thanks to a strong current and lots of debris in the river, but we did eventually manage to establish ourselves in the second quarter of the race and executed effectively from then on,” coxswain Oliver Fletcher ’14 said. “We failed to really hit our most powerful and effective rhythm against Dartmouth last weekend, so to put it together much more cohesively this week with pretty extreme conditions means we definitely came away happier.”
Next weekend, the Bulldogs will race Cornell and Princeton on their home course at the Gilder Boathouse in competition for the Carnegie Cup. It will be the last spring cup race before the Eastern Sprints on May 19. A strong performance next weekend will benefit the Bulldogs when the Eastern Sprints seeding for heats are determined.
The IRA National Championship will take place from May 31 to June 2, and the Yale-Harvard Regatta at New London, Conn., is scheduled for June 9.